Borderi’s Sandwich Shop in Siracusa, Sicily 

We were looking for a place to grab lunch in Siracusa when we stumbled upon Caseficio Borderi, a sandwich shop. It was rated the number one restaurant in Siracusa, with a perfect 5 star rating and over 2K reviews on Tripadvisor.

I was intrigued. “What could be so special about a sandwich?,” I thought.

I was wrong.

Borderi’s sandwiches are huge and delicious. At $5 a pop, they can easily feed two hungry people. They’re stuffed to the brim with handmade toppings like giardinera, jams, mozzerella di buffala.

Even with two lines, the wait is insanely long, but the local hipsters and college students convinced us it was worth it. Plus, you get a bit of a show.

Borderi and his family of sandwich masters chop, sprinkle, and brûlée (yes, brûlée) with the finesse of iron chefs. Borderi was smiling, laughing, and pleasantly chatting with his customers while slicing vegetables and pulling cheese.

There is no menu. You simply tell your sandwich master what ingredients you don’t eat or don’t like, and they take care of the rest. 5 minutes later, your panini masterpiece is ready.

Finally, it was our turn. Borderi’s son turned to look at us.

“Do you trust me?” he asked.

“Yes,” we nodded emphatically.

5 minutes later, I was clutching a sandwich brimming with homemade eggplant caponata, ricotta, caciocavallo, Parmesan, orange marmalade, olives, and brûléed smoked mozzarella.

Sounds unusual, but it was delicious. I’d never had a sandwich like that before. Neither of us could finish more than half our sandwich, so we packed the rest for later.

Borderi himself seems to be somewhat of a local rockstar, so we went to thank him and see if we could take a photo. He asked where we were from and when we said “San Francisco,” his eyes lit up and he thanked us profusely for visiting his shop and sent us off with big hugs.

All in all, it was a very memorable experience. If you have some extra time in Siracusa, be sure check out Borderi’s for yourself.

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